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Could A Multi-Camera Sitcom Win Best Comedy Series Ever Again?

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  • jf123
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    #336095

    The last multi-camera sitcom to win Best Comedy was Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005. I feel that in what some people are calling a golden age of TV it is unnecessary to have a laugh track after every line (*cough* Chuck Lorre *cough* ). There really is no multi-camera show that is a critical darling anymore, and I feel like every year there are more and more multi-camera shows that get panned and cancelled and that the majority of sitcoms on TV are single camera. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if The Big Bang Theory would be the last multi-camera show to get a Best Comedy Series nomination. What do you guys think?

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    24Emmy
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    #336097

    Yes. Anything is possible.

     

    I’d much rather watch some multi-camera episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friends, and Will & Grace than some single-camera episodes of 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Modern Family, and The Office.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #336098

    To me, multi-camera shows are more real than single-camera. I don’t hate single-camera shows, in fact I like a lot of them, but I just like multi-camera better.

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    Renaton
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    #336099

    I don’t think multi-camera is winning again unless there’s a major revival of the format (which would seem unlikely right now). I have said this before here, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Everybody Loves Raymond was the last one to win, and that it did so with it’s last season. It’s almost a symbolic rite of passage, since at the time television was starting to shift towards single-cams. I also think that while The Office was already a significant signal of change, I think 30 Rock winning three times pretty much established that, since so much of that show’s appeal to it’s audience was in the fact on how it didn’t have many limitations, since it had cutaways and a faster pace. And of course, now Modern Family has been on for a while, many shows have borrowed from it’s formula, and it feels stale today, but the single-cam aspect did help give it the impression of a fresh angle on family comedy back when it first started and it was part of the reason it came out victorious.

    Plus, I also think that as people migrate from watching stuff on television to computers, single-cams will continue to rise. For some reason, multi-cams seemed to make greater gains when syndication was a more important aspect, since multi-cams tend to work better with stand-alone episodic structure that plays well there. With binge-watching and less and less people watching stuff on TV and going towards other plataforms, comedy that has either has a faster pace or a more serialized aspect seems to be gaining more ground, and right now, that’s what single-cams do best (even a show like How I Met Your Mother was obviously borrowing stuff from the format).

    Sure, we have The Big Bang Theory’s success story to take into account, but honestly, that show almost feels like an anomaly in times like these (not too mention that even though it’s insanely popular and even has critics on it’s side, it still doesn’t feel as prestigious like single-cams do). So yeah, unless there’s a major comeback to single-cams in the future, whether they dominate television again (which seems unlikely given how much TV production and the general landscape has changed) or there’s a show that brings a new take to the format that overshadows everything else, I think it’s very unlikely we’ll be seeing a new multi-cam winner, at least in a long while.

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    Ghost
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    #336100

    Can it happen? Sure. Will it happen in the next decade? Probably not.

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    WaltEagle
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    #336101

    Yes, most things will happen ever again at the Emmys, and what works in film/televsion comes in cycles–it will be trendy again sometime. All it would require is a fresh take or just a really good or Emmy-friendly show that happens to be multi-cam. If it’s plausible that a multi-cam show could win next year (and it is), then it’s certain that one will win sometime before too long. If Modern Family wasn’t made, BBT would have won a few times and nobody would be asking this question.

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    AviChristiaans
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    #336102


    Yes, a Multi-Cam Comedy can win Oustanding Comedy Series again at the
    Emmys. And I think it could very  well
    happen very soon.



    And it would not take a revival of the
    format for it to happen.


    For the frowned upon format to have a fair
    shot at a revival, critics (and studios) will have to let go of the snobbish
    nature in which they view (and review) multi-cam sitcoms. So I doubt a revival
    of multi-cam comedies is happening anytime soon.


    Audiences still  love the format (The Big Bang Theory, Mike
    & Molly
    , 2 Broke Girls) judging from ratings.


    Voters continually  show  that they do watch it, love it and vote  for it ( Emmys, Screen Actors Guild + different
    other Guilds
    ).



    So I do believe, just like Friends and
    Everybody Loves Raymond, a multi-cam sitcom can win with the right season /story
    arc, or momentum/final.


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    Riley
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    #336103

    If Modern Family wasn’t made, BBT would have won a few times and nobody would be asking this question.

    30 Rock would have won in 2010 and 2013; Orange is the New Black would have won 2014.  Mayim Bialik was not nominated in 2011, so their only chance was 2012Ironically, that was the one year since 2009 that Jim Parsons and the show did not win anything.  2013 was the year that it exploded with the critics and in the ratings.  Does anyone have an opinion on 2012?  I am thinking that it might have gone instead to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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    24Emmy
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    #336104

    30 Rock would have won in 2010 and 2013; Orange is the New Black would have won 2014.  Mayim Bialik was not nominated in 2011, so their only chance was 2012Ironically, that was the one year since 2009 that Jim Parsons and the show did not win anything.  2013 was the year that it exploded with the critics and in the ratings.  Does anyone have an opinion on 2012?  I am thinking that it might have gone instead to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

     

    What about Glee? It would’ve owned the hot new comedy status by itself instead of sharing it with Modern Family. Glee won Supporting Actress and Directing. It also had nominations across the board in each of the acting categories.

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    Renaton
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    #336105

    Yes, most things will happen ever again at the Emmys, and what works in film/televsion comes in cycles–it will be trendy again sometime. All it would require is a fresh take or just a really good or Emmy-friendly show that happens to be multi-cam. If it’s plausible that a multi-cam show could win next year (and it is), then it’s certain that one will win sometime before too long. If Modern Family wasn’t made, BBT would have won a few times and nobody would be asking this question.

    I don’t think TBBT would have ever won in any of those years if MF didn’t exist. They never get nominated for directing or writing, and they have never won a single award outside of Jim Parsons, Bob Newhart (and that’s in large part because he is a comedy legend who was long overdue) and some random multi-cam tech wins that are far easier to win than the single-cam ones. The Emmys don’t love TBBT as much as it seems, as their attitude towards it has been more like they see the series as “The Sheldon Cooper Show”. It’s just the acting categories that still love multi-cams, as wins for Melissa McCarthy and Alisson Janney in recent years have shown, and even then, TBBT has failed to get many of it’s supporting players nominated even though it’s by far the most successful show in the format right now.

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    Somnambulist
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    #336106

    I think with the rise of increasingly successful single-camera series in the 1990s and 2000s, the multi-camera became subject to more abuse than ever before. It came to be seen as a limited and antiquated form of TV comedy: the very few, often very fake-looking sets, audience/canned laughter, etc. On the other hand, it seemed like some single-camera series were given a pass by critics even if they weren’t very funny or good.

    A multi-camera series could definitely win again but given The Big Bang Theory‘s failure to garner the top prize, I’m thinking the multi-camera sitcom that does do it will have to have critical acclaim, popularity, and somehow manage to break new ground. Louis C.K.’s HBO sitcom, for example, tried to experiment with the format but received a mixed response from viewers and critics.

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    Renaton
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    #336107

    For the frowned upon format to have a fair
    shot at a revival, critics (and studios) will have to let go of the snobbish
    nature in which they view (and review) multi-cam sitcoms. So I doubt a revival
    of multi-cam comedies is happening anytime soon.


    It has nothing to do with being snobbish. The industry and the general attitude from the audience has grown more pulverized. And that’s in any kind of entertainment industry. There’s no more Thriller or Titanic (even as we have our 21 and Avatars, they are different success stories than the unifying narrative experiences of the past had). There’s no more collective mass experiences that overshadow everything else because the audience has grown much more diversified, and now there’s room for everyone, to the point a film with a talking raccon and a tree as heroes becomes one of the biggest success stories of the year even though 20 years ago that would’ve been a very risky move to take from a studio (and it would’ve likely flopped). The internet, the advances in technology and the rise of niche culture now means there’s room for almost anything, and that stuff that wouldn’t have been embraced by a majority of an audience before can actually be quite successful (or at least moderately enough to compensate the investment), but also means there’s a lot more of everything to experience, especially as there’s so many different ways to experience it. 

    Also, we have to take into account the impact that the industry going digital has.  Before, single-cam production had a lot of major hurdles. Since a lot of the appeal on the format was on it feeling closer to a film, the equipment was a lot more expensive, it nedded much larger crews, and the production process was a lot more extensive. Digital has made the production much more accessible and cost-effective. A show like Louie could’ve never been made back in the 90’s in large part because it would take more money and longer to get it done, which would put on the show a pressure to be much more of a successful, money-making venture than it is. FX lets C.K. do what he wants because the show has it’s own little niche audience while also being cheap enough that it actually compensates the investment, and that’s one of the perks of the rise of cable and going digital. But even broadcast single-cams that want a bigger audience are much cheaper to produce and faster to shoot than they used to be, so it’s kind of inevitable the recongition from the industry reflects the changes it’s currently going through.

    Also, I don’t think these things are cyclical. It’s not how culture and technology work really. There will no Beeper King in the future. These shifts in industry may not the permanent (nothing is), but if/when they are replaced, it will be by what’s perceived to be a more advanced means of production and exhiibition, not by coming back to way things once were. 

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #336108

    I think they’re just not making multi-camera sitcoms like they used to. It’s not an outdated format, per se, it’s just that it’s generally being used for the most formulaic comfort-food shows. The same way broadcast-network dramas have flattened into more rote procedurals while all the risk-taking prestige drama is going to cable.

    The way I see it, multi-cam is to single-cam what a play is to a movie. Writers of multi-camera sitcoms should think of the medium more like a play and less like a receptacle for setups, punch-lines, and laugh tracks. I’ve re-watched some old episodes of “The Cosby Show” that absolutely hold up. “Friends,” “Roseanne,” “The Golden Girls,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” etc. all hold up. If they were on now I think they would be considered just as good. But the format is considered a throwback, so most of the envelope-pushing stuff is going single-camera.

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    Riley
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    #336109

    [quote=”thedemonhog”][quote=”WaltEagle”]If Modern Family wasn’t made, BBT would have won a
    few times and nobody would be asking this question.

    30 Rock would have won in 2010 and 2013; Orange is the New Black would have won 2014.[/quote]What about Glee? It would’ve owned the hot new comedy status by itself instead of sharing it with Modern Family. Glee won Supporting Actress and Directing. It also had nominations across the board in each of the acting categories.[/quote]It is possible, but I think that the important part of 2010 was not that voters were ready to move on from 30 Rock, but that they loved Modern Family more.  30 Rock versus Glee looks pretty similar to Modern Family versus Orange is the New Black.  The directors’ branch loves dramedy pilots and Jane Lynch had the best tape.

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    WaltEagle
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    #336110

    [quote=”WaltEagle”]If Modern Family wasn’t made, BBT would have won a few times and nobody would be asking this question.

    30 Rock would have won in 2010 and 2013; Orange is the New Black would have won 2014.  Mayim Bialik was not nominated in 2011, so their only chance was 2012Ironically, that was the one year since 2009 that Jim Parsons and the show did not win anything.  2013 was the year that it exploded with the critics and in the ratings.  Does anyone have an opinion on 2012?  I am thinking that it might have gone instead to Curb Your Enthusiasm.[/quote] The whole race is different in most categories without Modern Family, though. Bialik would be in for 2011 without Modern Family, and Simon Helberg would have gotten in at least once too with those four slots opening up. I’m no TBBT fan, but they would have more momentum and more of the comedy traditionalists who love MF would turn their support there instead (MF is single-cam, but like TBBT is a standard classical sitcom in many ways, or at least in spite of its “modern” nature is appealing to fans of the classical sitcom format). We can’t really use the logic of our MF-including history to accurately determine to certainty what would have won Comedy Series because the pre-race buzz and nominees in other categories would be a factor.

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